Pesach, or Passover in English, is Judaism's major spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Ritually, the observance of this holiday centers around the seder (meaning "order") and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the eve of the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the hagaddah (or "telling") is read, which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the seder. The Pesach seder is the only ritual meal in the Jewish calendar year for which such an order is prescribed, hence its name.

The scriptural bases for the seder are found primariliy in Exodus. Exodus 12:3-11 describes the meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs which the Israelites ate just prior to the Exodus. In addition, three separate passages in Exodus (12:26-7, 13:8, 13:14) and one in Deuteronomy (6:20-21) enunciate the duty of the parents to tell the story of the Exodus to their children. The seder plate contains various symbolic foods referred to in the seder itself.

NEW! Four More Questions

Our tradition teaches us that the Passover Seder is meant to be a learning experience for children of all ages, from 1 to 100. Our questions are more important than the answers. As you prepare to sit around the Seder table, we'd like to offer you Four More Questions to help connect the past, present, and future of our Passover traditions.

When is 
Pesach (Passover)?
Begins Friday, April 22, 2016
Ends Friday, April 29, 2016

Take Action
Passover Social Justice Guide
Passover is rich in social justice themes. It is impossible to study the Jewish story of redemption and not feel compelled to eradicate injustice in the world today.
About Passover
Passover 101: History
What is the story of Passover? What does the word Pesach mean? Find out!
Passover 101: Customs and Rituals
Learn more about the seder, the ritual objects on the seder plate and much more.
Passover Resources
Interactive Seder Plate
Use this interactive Seder plate to learn (or teach!) about the meaning of the individual pieces that make up the plate.
4 Israel 4 Passover (PDF 140.87 KB)
A Haggadah Supplement for Passover from ARZA.
Pesach - Not the Same Everywhere (PDF 294.61 KB)
Educate yourself and others about Pesach customs in other communities around the world!

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